Summer Robin Family #robins #rebirth #birds

I have become enraptured by a family of robins. I noticed their nest about a month ago, hanging on a low branch of my lilac bush. A mere few inches above the top of my head, it is ideally situated for my viewing. It also happens to be perfectly aligned with one of the windows on my porch. Ideal for taking photographs without intruding on privacy.

On Tuesday I noticed the first hatchling and became enraptured. That was it. My heart filled with love and awe for the circle of life that had decided to grace my yard.

To be privy to this brief unfolding; to watch its emergence and transformation, instills within the humble joy of bearing witness to a miracle. It is the dance of grace. It is small, yet profound reminder that life is in constant cycle.

I have named this family even though they are not mine to name. I am calling the babies Sue and Rachel, and I think perhaps no one will mind that I do. It is my way of remembering two lives that are in their own process of cycling. Two lives I was fortunate enough to share with my own for a brief time. Both lovers of birds who are now untethered from Earth. It seems fitting.

Many a moment is now spent watching. Watching the mother, Bratha, as she tends to her chicks. There are only two, where the average is 3-5 eggs per breeding cycle for the American robin. The number fits nicely into my homage.

In just a few days the eyes of the chicks have opened and their bodies have sprouted thick coats of mottled gray. They are beginning to find their voices as they call out their hunger to their mother.

She is mostly patient and obliging, but she also gives them space. Space to emerge into individuality. I find it both heartbreaking and beautiful. It reminds me of loss, but also of hope.

19 thoughts on “Summer Robin Family #robins #rebirth #birds

  1. This is beautiful, Alethea. I have witnessed one birth of a hummingbird and one birth of the house finch babies and at least five births of mourning dove babies in since 2016. I could relate to the joy and the heartbreaking. I took tons of photos. The first four births of mourning doves were amazing. The last pair of mourning doves probably were first time parents and immature to share the incubating and caring responsibilities. Several days after the two chicks were hatches, one partner didn’t come back to take his turn. The other responsible partner eventually left the nest to find food. The two chicks disappeared one at a time. There was no pieces remaining to give clue of what had happened.
    Thank you for sharing the photos and your experience, Alethea.

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    1. Oh, what experiences those must have been! The hummingbird family I can only imagine! Wow! They must have been tiny babies. I am a little worried about there only being one parent present with this family too. There were two before the eggs hatched, now there seems to be only 1, but a good parent she seems to be. So far the chicks are thriving. 🤞❤️

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      1. If the eggs are hatched, probably they are okay waiting for one parent in between feeding.

        The hummingbird nest was like a cheeseball the size of a tennis ball. I did a research that hummingbirds may reuse their nests, so I wrapped it with plastic for the winter. It did fine. As soon as I unwrapped it in the summer, it disintegrated. I’m happy that the baby stays with me all the time. Mama and one sibling come and go. Papa died in my backyard. It happened that my husband found him. I buried it. The oldest hummingbird being tracked was 12 years old. The average is 4 to 8 years old. I think the papa bird was at least 4 years old. ❤ 🙂

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      2. I have yet to find a hummingbird nest although they do seem to live near us, as each summer we see them in the gardens. How wonderful to be able to keep track of the family. That must have been a bit heart-breaking to find the papa bird. I’m sure the family appreciates all the love though. ❤️

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      3. They don’t seem to be picky of where to build their nests. I saw the nests at two friends’, anchoring the frames of the light structures to build the nests.
        I’m making my garden more hummingbird and butterfly friendly. 🦋🥀😍

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  2. We had a nest of robins and then a nest of catbirds in our rose “thicket” this year. Carefully “peeked” in on the families.
    You were so lucky to be in a position to photograph the robins! We had to sneak up quietly to catch glimpses. Used a mirror to note the eggs, then watched for the first tiny beak to show above the top of the nest. Both nests produced two chicks — the robin fledglings stayed up front; the catbird parents brought their chicks into the back yard. We watched them being fed, then a few days later, tentatively try out the bird bath.
    A pair of house wrens nested in a bird box in our yard for the first time this year. Unfortunately, before the eggs hatched, the female died. The male tried, unsuccessfully, to find another mate throughout the summer.
    Thanks for sharing the robins in your yard.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Sometimes, birds will nest twice in a season, but I’m not sure if they reuse their old nest. We take care of some nest boxes at a park. When we clean them out in the spring, we often find them stuffed to the rafters with two or three nests built one on top of the other.

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  3. I enjoyed a similar gift this summer! A nest on our grapevine, positioned right under one of the bulbs in a string of patio lights. It was like a spotlight at night, illuminating tiny miraculous heads reaching for their mother. Such a gift. Thank you for noticing and sharing with the world. Wish I’d taken photos of our birds as you did yours so I could share, too.

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